WASHINGTON – Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released the following statements on Jan. 30 to celebrate Fred Korematsu Day:
Fred Korematsu (1919-2005) was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena), CAPAC chair: “By challenging the unjust incarceration of over 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II, Fred Korematsu served as a beacon of hope during an otherwise shameful time in our nation’s history. His courageous actions cemented his legacy as a civil rights icon, and his story reminds us that we must always be vigilant in protecting the civil rights of all Americans. This is especially true now more than ever with President Trump’s abhorrent executive order targeting immigrants, refugees, and Muslims. These shameful actions are fueled by the same hysteria and prejudice that led to Japanese American internment during World War II, but we must not allow history to repeat itself.
“As President Trump implements his Muslim ban and targets immigrants and other minority communities, Korematsu Day is also a reminder of the importance of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee this week. I urge my Senate colleagues from both parties to resist nominees that will provide legal justification for oppression. Instead, we must recommit ourselves to opposing discrimination and speaking out against intolerance and injustice whenever it occurs.”
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii): “In the face of overwhelming prejudice and adversity, Fred Korematsu stood up for the civil rights of 120,000 Japanese Americans, then spent the rest of his life fighting for justice. Today, Fred’s work is more relevant than ever. We will not stand to see this dark period of xenophobia and hysteria repeated.”
Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside), CAPAC whip: “As a Japanese American, I am thankful for the tireless work of Fred Korematsu to fight for civil rights and racial justice. He challenged the injustices of Japanese incarceration